Silicon Valley tech execs are obsessed with 'Dune: Part Two' and renting out private theaters to host screenings

  • Silicon Valley's most prominent investors and executives held private screenings for Dune: Part Two.

  • The sequel to the 2021 hit Dune has already grossed $200 million since its release on March 1.

  • The film was already huge in tech circles weeks before its release, the New York Times reports.

The hottest ticket in Silicon Valley these days seems to be an invite to see the science fiction epic Dune: Part Two.

Director Denis Villeneuve's highly anticipated sequel to his 2021 hit, Dune, has raked in $200 million worldwide since it hit theaters on March 1, according to Forbes.

But even before opening night, some of the most prominent execs, investors, and founders in Silicon Valley were hosting private screenings for the film, according to The New York Times.

The night before the premiere, Matt Herrero and Jason Goldman — two former tech workers who now host the podcast "Escape Hatch" — held a private screening for the film at an IMAX theater in downtown San Francisco, the Times reported.

The event drew big names in Silicon Valley, from Facebook founder Dustin Moskovitz to thought leader Tim O'Reilly to former Facebook security head Alex Stamos, who exchanged pleasantries and enjoyed Dune-themed cocktails like the "Fremen Mirage" and "Arrakis Palms," according to the Times.

Some even made jokes about whether they'd be able to take home the sandworm-inspired popcorn buckets — which have gone viral on social media, the Times reported.

On the film's opening night the following day, Founders Fund — tech mogul Peter Thiel's venture firm — rented out the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a theater in San Francisco's Mission District, according to the Times. The event, complete with an open bar and food, drew attendees from across the country.

The buzz around Dune: Part Two was already building up in tech circles weeks before the film's release.

"If you're a VC firm and you're not hosting a private Dune II screening, are you even a VC firm?" tech journalist Ashlee Vance wrote on X in mid-February.

Venture capitalists also told Business Insider by text that they'd received invites to private screenings of the film, though they didn't end up going.

Dune: Part Two — which stars "besties" Timothee Chalamet and Zendaya — has received rave reviews from critics who call it a "sci-fi masterpiece" and one of the "greatest sequels ever."

It may gross between $600 million and $700 million before it leaves theaters, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

But the greatest sign of Silicon Valley's obsession with the film may be that people are willing to watch it over and over again — despite the nearly three-hour run time.

Not long after the screening, "Escape Hatch"'s Goldman bought tickets to a matinee showing of the film and told the Times, "I can't wait to see it again."

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